21 – 22 June 2018

On behalf of the ESSUS Network:

Organized by the Student Health Service of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Deadline for abstract proposals: 1st of May 2018

Via studentenartsen@gmail.com

The 6th ESSUS conference welcomes all kinds of papers on the topic of Health (risk) behavior in university students. In particular, this year’s ESSUS conference will have a special focus on the present performance-based student culture and the increased pressures to succeed that students face nowadays. In the Netherlands, 3 out of 4 students feel emotionally exhausted. In other European countries students appear to have a similar experience. The use of social media has exploded and alcohol and drug (ab)use could be categorized as one way for students to ineffectively cope with their problems. We also want to point attention to E-Health interventions and other practical solutions that could be deployed for different student health (risk) (behavioral) problems.

A larger number of students report negative stress and /or burnouts, because of heightened levels of the need to perform academically, socially, career wise, financially, and that amidst the rise of the need to be successful and social media as tools for flaunting it. Not seeking help, especially for mental health problems, is common in the student population, with dangers of unnecessary aggravation of problems and serious repercussions on study performance. In this 6th ESSUS conference we welcome contributions that address these problems and work towards solutions. Besides encouraging students to seek help at an earlier stage for their healthrelated problems , we could think of different initiatives to address these problems. Nowadays, E-Health offers a multitude of possibilities to target several health-related problems from interventions for beating depression, anxiety, and addictions to encouraging healthy behavior such as physical exercise or a healthy diet. The aim of the 6th ESSUS Conference is to offer a platform for scientists and practitioners who work with students to present innovative current scholarly work in the field, exchange good practices and to target potentially fruitful areas for future research that are unexplored.

Call for abstracts

For the 6th ESSUS Conference we invite participants to present their research on the above mentioned theme and its accompanying phenomena around the following conference subthemes:

Mental health problems and substance (ab)use

  • Increase of stimulant drug use (methylphenidate, Ritalin, etc.) in university
  • Designer or new drugs
  • Suicide ideation
  • How to identify and reach out to students with problems in an early stage
  • PhD student stress and health
  • International students stress and health

Health behavior

  • Sleeping patterns and sleep problems in university students and effective solutions
  • Sexual and reproductive behavior in university students
  • Physical activity and sports and their impact on health and performance
  • Healthy diet vs. eating disorders
  • Behavioral Addictions and interventions (internet, shopping, gambling, )
  • Healthy coping strategies for students (Yoga, meditation, sports, )


  • Stress impact on performance
  • Student engagement or burnout?
  • Concentration difficulties in students
  • Motivation, fear of failure, procrastination and organizing problems


  • Effective E-Health interventions and solutions for student mental health problems
  • Effective E-Health interventions and solutions for student substance (ab)use problems
  • Effective E-Health interventions and solutions for typical student problems (choosing contraceptives, dealing with solitude or low self-esteem, informal care, negative sexual experiences, etc.)
  • Decision aids for student problems (contraceptives, recurrent bladder infections, etc. )


https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2016/11/04/geef-stress-student-een-normaal-bestaan-5137537- a1530302
https://lsvb.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/LSVb-2016-Onderzoeksrapport-mentale- gezondheid-van-studenten.pdf
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/beruf-chance/aok-studie-enthuellt-stresslevel-von-studenten- 14475973.html
http://www.lemonde.fr/campus/article/2016/12/09/les-etudiants-se-sentent-plus-stresses- deprimes-et-isoles-en-2016_5046527_4401467.html

Keynote Speaker: Reinout Wiers, Ph.D.
Prof. dr. Reinout Wiers is full professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Amsterdam. He is internationally known for his work on implicit cognitive processes in addiction.

Keynote Speaker: Eirini Karyotaki, Ph.D.
Dr. Eirini Karyotaki is postdoctoral researcher at the department of Clinical Psychology, VU Amsterdam. She graduated with a thesis on Innovations in mental health care for adult depression. Currently she is coordinating a large-scale university project on college students’ mental health: Caring Universities.

Important deadlines

1st of May: deadline abstract submission
15th of May: abstract acceptance
15th of June: deadline for registration
21st -22rd of June: conference

Call for abstracts

Abstract submissions are now being accepted for presentation at the 6 th ESSUS conference “Health (risk) behavior of university students in times of performance pressure  towards practical solutions” 2018. For submitting the abstract please send an email containing the title, authors, institutions, and the abstract as a word document attached to: studentenartsen@gmail.com

Submission deadline: 1 st May, 2018

Abstracts are limited to 300 words, including introduction, methods, results, conclusions. Methodological abstracts can be composed of introduction, methods approach, critical discussion and conclusion. The submitting author is automatically listed as the contact author.

Conference fee: 150 €

Reduced conference fee for students: one day 25 €; two days  50 €

The conference fee covers admission to all sessions, refreshments during breaks and lunches. The fee does not cover additional costs such as social program, dinners, accommodation or travel costs.

Number of participants is limited.

We look forward to meeting you at the 6th ESSUS conference , 21-22 June 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Save the date!

On behalf of the organizing committee of the ESSUS 2018 conference, and the ESSUS network

Warm regards,
Claudia Van der Heijde, PhD and Peter Vonk, MD
Ester van Run, Naomi Cook and Laura van der Geest